We're (finally) heading back into the Danger Zone!
Over three decades ago, the action drama film Top Gun swooped into theaters, creating a cult classic franchise. And now, after years of development and numerous delays, the 1986 movie's sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is finally set to land in theaters.
Featuring the return of Tom Cruise as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, Top Gun: Maverick is a highly anticipated film with a lot of hopes riding on it. So far, we've seen some brilliant visuals and heard a lot about how the movie serves as both a competition film like its predecessor and a tribute to aviation. What we haven't seen yet is the movie itself but hey, we waited this long so what's a little longer?
Top Gun: Maverick has been directed by Joseph Kosinski from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie and a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks. Besides Cruise, the movie also features Val Kilmer, who is reprising his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky from the first film. Top Gun: Maverick also boasts a host of exciting new faces including Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Maverick's best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards), who died in the 1986 movie.
Based on everything that we know about the movie, it looks like this is one long-delayed sequel that's going to really be worth the wait. So we've pulled together all the details about Top Gun: Maverick that have been revealed so far, including release dates, trailers, cast, and plot information, into this handy guide. So tell me, do you feel the need?
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The first official trailer for Top Gun: Maverick was released on July 19, 2019. The video gives a quick summary of Maverick's career in the years since the first movie and features some gorgeous aerial stunts. In December of the same year, a behind-the-scenes featurette was released that reveals how the movie's stunts were done with real planes and live stunts.
The same month, the movie's second trailer was released, introducing the new batch of trainees whom Maverick is going to be taking under his wing. The video also teases that one of the trainees is going to die during an exercise and shows a fight breaking out between Maverick and Rooster. A teaser for the movie was also released during Super Bowl 2020, which briefly reveals that Maverick is going to be running into some trouble with the top brass during the course of the film.
Top Gun: Maverick is currently scheduled to be released in theaters in the United States and Canada on May 27, 2022. The movie will also be made available to stream on Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical debut.
The current premiere date is nearly three years later than when the movie was initially supposed to come out. Top Gun: Maverick was originally scheduled to release on July 12, 2019, but was postponed, first to June 26, 2020, and then, after a whole lot more delays, to the current date.
Top Gun: Maverick boasts a stellar cast of stars, led by Tom Cruise. Cast members appearing in the movie, besides Cruise, include Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Monica Barbaro, Charles Parnell, Danny Ramirez, Manny Jacinto, Bashir Salahuddin, Jay Ellis, Jake Picking, Raymond Lee, Lyliana Wray, Jean Louisa Kelly, Greg Davis, and Bob Stephenson.
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Top Gun: Maverick features a mix of new and old characters. Let's take a look at the ones who have been confirmed so far:
Other characters appearing in the movie include Ed Harris as Maverick's superior, Charles Parnell as Rear Admiral Warlock, Manny Jacinto as Fritz, Bashir Salahuddin as Coleman, and Bob Stephenson as United States Air Force General Edward Clayton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Preliminary production on Top Gun: Maverick officially kicked off on May 30, 2018, in San Diego, California. Flight deck operations were filmed in late August of the same year by a 15-person film crew from Paramount and Bruckheimer Films who were aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. In February 2019, Cruise and the production crew were spotted on the USS Theodore Roosevelt at NAS North Island. The movie was also filmed at NAS Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington until March 2019.
Miles Teller confirmed in an interview on June 19, 2019, that he had finished filming his scenes two days earlier. Principal photography was scheduled to continue until April 15, 2019, in a number of locations including San Diego, Seattle, and Lake Tahoe.
As is pretty much standard practice nowadays for Tom Cruise, the actor did quite a few of his stunts himself. In fact, Cruise, who is a certified pilot, was reportedly hoping to fly the Boeing F-18 fighter jet. That request was ultimately denied by the Navy but he did fly some helicopters and a P-51 propeller-driven fighter plane for the movie.
Bonus information, Top Gun: Maverick was filmed in IMAX format using IMAX-Certified Sony Venice 6K Full Frame cameras and a set of cameras were also placed in the cockpits to record the pilots' real reactions to the g-forces they experienced.
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Top Gun: Maverick is set over 30 years after the events of the first movie. The characters have all aged in real-time, with some moving on to bigger and better things. Maverick is pretty much unchanged though but his past still seems to be something of a sore spot. It's possible that there may be some flashbacks in the story but for the most part, the narrative of Top Gun: Maverick is expected to proceed in a linear fashion.
Picking up decades after the events of Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick looks at our hero's life in the present day. Maverick is now an instructor, training the next generation of Navy aviators. He has a new love interest and has more or less remained the same person he always was, pushing limits and loving it.
But things get more complicated for Maverick when he is tasked with training a group of graduates for a special high-risk mission. The trainees include Rooster, the son of Maverick's late friend Goose. As the ghosts of the past come back to haunt him, Maverick must make some tough decisions, all leading him to a deadly mission that might just claim lives.
Here's the official synopsis for the movie:
"After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”. Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it."
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Remus is a freelance resource writer at Collider. He’s a writer, journalist, and author who dreams of one day creating the greatest X-Men comic book of all time. Until that day, he’s happy to write about movies and TV shows, with a particular interest in sci-fi and pop culture. In his spare time, he cooks, reads books, researches obscure trivia, and makes plans for world domination. That last one’s a secret, shh!